Beta This is a new way of showing guidance - your feedback will help us improve it.


Buy Quiet promotes consumer demand for low noise tools and machinery, and encourages the production and sale of low noise machinery. The long-term aim is that designers and manufacturers see commercial advantages in the production of quiet tools and machinery, and that noisy tools and machinery cease to be sold as lower noise counterparts are purchased in preference.

National and international Buy Quiet activity

HSE is not alone in promoting the design and purchase of quiet tools and machines. Buy Quiet campaigns are run by various organisations in the UK and around the world – but not all address work equipment. Given the global nature of trade in work equipment, it is inevitable that Buy Quiet is an international issue.

HSE is actively working with European and global partner organisations to develop and promote international Buy Quiet activity.

These are some Buy Quiet activities:


Guidance on noise at work is available in L108. Part 4 of L108 gives advice on purchasing equipment.

HSE launched the Buy Quiet initiative at an event in March 2010.

United Kingdom

Several organisations in the UK are campaigning for quieter workplaces such as members of the Institute of Acoustics and HSE.


The Association of Noise Consultants represents many noise consultants in the UK.


A European campaign on Buy Quiet is being led by the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE). Not only does this group have representation from member states of the EU but there is strong representation from the USA and contributions also from China and Japan.

'EU finds 80% of noisy work equipment is supplied with inadequate noise risk information'.


Australia has a similar Buy Quiet initiative. This has a slightly different slant as it focuses on the sound power level of the machine, whereas the UK approach is to consider the sound pressure levels at operator positions. Nevertheless, the 'Buy Quiet' approach is clear.

New Zealand

New Zealand developed a distance learning module on how to Buy Quiet. The information is almost entirely consistent with the approach in the UK. Only the peak sound pressure level criterion is a little different in detail to that used in UK and Europe.

United States of America

Many organisations in the United States, including commercial companies, branches of the armed services and government agencies, are responding to Buy Quiet. For example, National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) is working hard to 'buy quiet'.

Updated 2021-02-11